Jersey — Attractions
Jersey attractions include fine beaches, pretty countryside, and an interesting old capital. Castles, forts, zoos, museums, gardens, and kid-friendly sites are located all over the island, while the main town, St Helier, has plenty of history and bustle that can be seen on foot. If you get tired, there are buses and taxis all over the island to rest your weary feet.
St Helier is the capital and largest settlement on Jersey. The harbor-side town sits at the end of St Aubin’s Bay in the south of the island and is a laid-back place of shops, cafés, pubs, and markets. It has several worthy attractions, such as the must-see Elizabeth Castle on a nearby island, and Fort Regent, along with many fine old buildings and museums. There are plenty of accommodation options from large hotels to cute B&Bs, as Jersey is the main hub for transportation and travel around the Channel Islands.
Address: St Helier, JE2, South Coast
St Brelade’s Bay
Although not the prettiest beach on Jersey, St Brelade’s Bay is its busiest stretch of sand that fills up when the sun shines. It lies just to the west of the larger St Aubin’s Bay and St Helier and, being south-facing, is protected from the harsh Atlantic weather. There are plenty of places to laze around and frolic and the water is shallow for swimming. Buses run regularly from St Helier and other main tourist hubs.
Address: St Brelade, Southwest Coast
Sir Walter Raleigh built this attractive castle in the latter part of the 16th century near a small chapel, the Hermitage, which dates to the 12th century. The site is on a small island across the harbor from St Helier—accessed only at low tide—and makes for a pleasant couple of hours to wander about the other island and grounds. Parts of the castle remain intact, though the Hermitage is the main draw. The Master Gunner recites history before setting off a cannon at noon. The ferry runs regularly from town.
Address: St Helier, St Helier parish, JE2 3NU
Jersey Zoo is one of the best zoos on the British Islands. Part of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the endowment is well known for its dedication to the conservation of endangered species. Scores of exotic animals are raised in attractive surrounds on the sprawling 42-acre site in the northeast amid greenery, streams and waterfalls. The main attraction includes the gorillas, gibbons, bears, monkeys, orangutans, wallabies, flamingos, and fruit bats, some of which are allowed to wander around freely.
Address: Les Augrès Manor, La Profonde Rue, Trinity, JE3 5BP
Jersey War Tunnels
The underground rooms at this German wartime hospital remain preserved with period furnishings and fittings, and feature exhibits detailing the time of the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands. The tunnels are just a few miles northwest of St Helier and were carved into the earth through forced labor. Visitors can wander the tunnels and take in photographs, relics and firearms.
Address: Les Charrieres Malorey, St Lawrence, JE3 1FU
Mont Orgueil Castle
Standing watch over the east coast is one of Jersey’s best preserved castles. The well kept leviathan was built to guard the island against French attacks in the 1200’s and sits menacingly atop Mont Orgueil. Visitors can climb its turrets, check out artwork, see a witchcraft exhibit in the cellar, and explore the grounds. On a clear day, the views stretch from the harbor below right across to France. Keep an eye out for the wheel of urine and wooden soldiers.
Address: Gorey, St Martin, JE3 6ET
Jersey’s Living Legend
A popular family and rainy day attraction is this hamlet-style village setup amid the striking Jersey countryside. Jersey’s Living Legend features 10 acres of stunning grounds and includes two adventure golf courses, go-karting, a craft village, and a fabulous restaurant. You can also learn about history of the island, as well as gorge on local delicacies and cakes at a number of bakeries. Jersey’s Living Legend also has an outdoor play area that is open March through October.
Address: La Rue du Petit Aleval, St Peter, JE3 7ET
La Hougue Bie Museum
La Hougue Bie is an ancient and significant burial mound off the northeast of St Helier. It hails from the Neolithic Age, dating back around 3,500 BC and comes with a reproduction house with a preserved passageway and chamber. There is a museum on site that features artifacts from around the area such as swords, axes and coins. The whole area is beautifully laid out and there are nice walking trails around the Grouville area.
Address: La Route de la Hougue Bie, Grouville, JE2 7UA